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Surge Copper Corp
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Close 2021-03-16 C$ 0.42
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Surge Copper releases NI 43-101 estimate for Berg

2021-03-17 06:34 ET - News Release

Mr. Leif Nilsson reports


Surge Copper Corp. has released the results of an updated independent resource estimate prepared by Tetra Tech for the Berg copper-molybdenum-silver deposit, located in the Huckleberry district in central British Columbia.


  • Total measured and indicated resources of 610.0 million tonnes grading 0.38 per cent copper equivalent;
  • Measured resource containing 207.2 million tonnes grading 0.45 per cent copper equivalent;
  • Pit-constrained resource with total strip ratio of 1.85:1;
  • High-quality resource estimate with 96 per cent contained within the measured and indicated categories;
  • Deposit remains open with good expansion potential laterally and at depth.

Leif Nilsson, chief executive officer of Surge, commented: "This updated resource represents a moment in time snapshot of the Berg deposit based on the significant investment and high-quality work performed by prior operators, updated for today's commodity pricing and cost benchmarking environments. For Surge, it serves as a baseline prior to our maiden work program under our operatorship, and will guide our investment programs to deliver value in key focus areas. More generally, this resource estimate underscores the strategic significance of our acquisition and the district scale potential we see in our assets. Recent corporate transactions have demonstrated the strategic value and significance of porphyry deposits in British Columbia with a similar overall size and grade tenor to Berg. Combined with our Ootsa property, Surge controls four advanced porphyry deposits with measured and indicated resources totalling 834 million tonnes in an attractive jurisdiction with excellent infrastructure."

The Berg deposit is located within the 34,798-hectare Berg property, in which the company is earning a 70-per-cent interest from Centerra Gold Inc. through spending commitments totalling $8-million over a five-year period (see Dec. 16, 2020, news release). The Berg property is contiguous with the company's 100-per-cent-owned Ootsa property, which hosts 224.2 million tonnes of National Instrument 43-101-compliant mineral resources in the measured and indicated categories, containing resources of copper, gold, molybdenum and silver.

Dr. Shane Ebert, president and vice-president, exploration, commented: "As evidenced by this resource update, our acquisition of Berg was a step change for Surge in terms of our total resource base. The deposit's size, grade profile, and near-surface geometry make it a highly attractive open-pit target in the district, and there is significant potential to both increase the size of the deposit and define the near-surface higher-grade zones."

                                  WITH EFFECTIVE DATE OF MARCH 9, 2021

                                                                       Grade               Contained metal
Material type         Resource category  Tonnes     Cu      Mo     Ag   CuEq      Cu      Mo     Ag   CuEq
                                           (mt)    (%)     (%)  (g/t)    (%)   (mlb)   (mlb)  (moz)  (mlb)

Supergene                      measured    86.9   0.41    0.03   2.46   0.50     789      52    6.9    960
                              indicated    88.5   0.29    0.02   2.67   0.37     572      43    7.6    724
                 measured and indicated   175.4   0.35    0.02   2.57   0.44   1,362      95   14.5  1,685
                               inferred     7.2   0.23    0.01   4.26   0.29      37       2    1.0     47
Hypogene                       measured   120.3   0.28    0.04   3.42   0.41     752      97   13.2  1,098
                              indicated   314.1   0.22    0.03   3.10   0.34   1,537     226   31.3  2,343
                 measured and indicated   434.3   0.24    0.03   3.19   0.36   2,289     323   44.6  3,441
                               inferred    20.8   0.22    0.02   3.57   0.30     101       8    2.4    138
Leachate                       measured     0.0   0.04    0.09   5.62   0.21       0       0    0.0      0
                              indicated     0.2   0.14    0.12   2.37   0.25       1       1    0.0      1
                 measured and indicated     0.2   0.13    0.12   2.41   0.25       1       1    0.0      1
                               inferred     0.1   0.11    0.09   6.13   0.21       0       0    0.0      0
Total                          measured   207.2   0.34    0.03    3.0   0.45   1,541     149   20.1  2,058
                              indicated   402.8   0.24    0.03    3.0   0.35   2,110     270   39.0  3,069
                 measured and indicated   610.0   0.27    0.03    3.0   0.38   3,651     419   59.1  5,126
                               inferred    28.1   0.22    0.02    3.8   0.30     138      11    3.4    185

(1) Copper equivalent (CuEq) was calculated using metal prices of $3.10/pound copper, $10/lb molybdenum
and $20/ounce Ag. Recoveries were applied to correspond with estimated individual metal recoveries based 
on limited metallurgical testwork for production of a copper and molybdenum concentrate: supergene zone 
(Cu equals 73 per cent, Mo equals 61 per cent and Ag equals 52 per cent), hypogene zone (Cu equals 81
per cent, Mo equals 71 per cent and Ag equals 67 per cent), leachate zone (Cu equals 0 per cent, Mo equals 
61 per cent and Ag equals 52 per cent). Smelter loss was not applied.
(2) A cut-off value of 0.2 per cent CuEq was used as the base case for reporting mineral resources that 
are subject to open-pit potential. The resource block model has been constrained by a conceptual open-pit 
shell; however, economic viability can only be assessed through the completion of engineering studies 
defining reserves including PFS and FS. The CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum) 
definition standards (May 10, 2014) were followed for classification of mineral resources. It cannot be 
assumed that all or any part of inferred mineral resources will be upgraded to indicated or measured as 
a result of continued exploration.
(3) Dry bulk density has been estimated based on 2,996 in situ specific gravity measurements collected 
between 2007 and 2011. Values were applied by geology model domain (n equals 18) representing the 
weathering profiles and major lithological units; values ranged from 2.38 tonnes per cubic metre to 
2.74 tonnes per cubic metre.
(4) There are no known legal, political, unnatural environmental or other risks that could materially 
affect the potential development of the mineral resources.
(5)  All numbers are rounded. Overall numbers may not be exact due to rounding.

Background and description of resource

The Berg deposit forms a ring-like shape around a quartz-monzonite intrusive body called the Berg stock. A total of 53,754 metres of drilling in 215 drill holes have been completed between 1964 and 2011 by previous operators including Kennecott, Placer Dome, Terrane Metals and Thompson Creek. This drilling has defined two highly fractured mineralized zones in the northeast and southern portions of the ring. A well-developed supergene enrichment zone is superimposed on hypogene mineralization, and is predominantly controlled by topography, fracture intensity and hypogene sulphide abundance. Drilling in many areas of the deposit remains widely spaced and mineralization is open to depth and outward from the Berg stock. Additionally, metallurgical test programs have been conducted on the resource, most recently between 2007 and 2012. This body of work indicates that conventional flotation processes can be used to produce marketable copper and molybdenum concentrates from the mineralization, with copper recoveries locally exceeding 80 per cent.

The resource model was developed utilizing a database containing 20,281 assays from 49,461 metres of drilling in 201 drill holes. Drill hole assay data were composited into three-metre intervals and a block model with 10 m by 10 m by 10 m block size was constructed using Datamine modelling software. To better honour geological contacts, subcelling was allowed to a minimum dimension of five m by five m by five m. Mineralized domains with reasonable prospects for economic extraction were constrained incorporating geological, structural, and lithological parameters and using a 0.2 per cent CuEq cut-off value. Within these domains, grades for copper, molybdenum and silver were estimated using ordinary kriging (OK) grade interpolation guided by geostatistical analysis. The resulting resource model was subject to pit optimization to define a pit-constrained mineral resource.


CuEq cut-off        Category          Tonnes     CuEq      Cu     Mo        Ag
(%)                                               (%)     (%)    (%)     (g/t)

0.1                 measured     224,609,062     0.43    0.32   0.03      2.91
0.1                indicated     573,094,464     0.29    0.20   0.02      2.57
0.1                      M+I     797,703,526     0.33    0.23   0.03      2.67
0.2                 measured     207,228,768     0.45    0.34   0.03      3.02
0.2                indicated     402,757,347     0.35    0.24   0.03      3.01
0.2                      M+I     609,986,115     0.38    0.27   0.03      3.01
0.3                 measured     171,106,355     0.49    0.37   0.04      3.19
0.3                indicated     237,451,842     0.41    0.28   0.04      3.43
0.3                      M+I     408,558,197     0.45    0.32   0.04      3.33
0.4                 measured     124,735,864     0.54    0.41   0.04      3.38
0.4                indicated     111,967,437     0.49    0.34   0.04      3.82
0.4                      M+I     236,703,301     0.52    0.37   0.04      3.59
0.5                 measured      71,641,098     0.61    0.47   0.04      3.54
0.5                indicated      38,519,523     0.57    0.41   0.05      4.31
0.5                      M+I     110,160,621     0.60    0.45   0.04      3.81

2021 work program

Surge's maiden work program at Berg will focus on defining and expanding known near-surface high-grade zones, identifying the outer limits of mineralization, which remain open in several areas, and improving understanding of structures, which may influence mineralizing controls, particularly for high-grade silver occurrences. Drill planning is currently under way, anticipating an initial program to commence in mid-summer 2021 following completion of access upgrade work. Prior drilling at Berg was inconsistently assayed for precious metals, and given the significant economic contribution, especially from silver, this represents a low-cost opportunity to reassay existing core and pulps and potentially increase the precious metal content in the resource. Recommended metallurgical testwork to optimize process conditions and improve target metal recovery will be further planned and progressed. Additionally, an airborne ZTEM geophysical survey is being planned for early summer to cover the entire Ootsa-Berg project area. Field teams will be active throughout the summer conducting surface work on existing regional exploration targets including any new ZTEM anomalies. Surge plans to conduct sufficient fieldwork on regional targets to allow them to be prioritized for advanced exploration work and drill testing.

Qualified person

The Berg mineral resource estimate has been completed by Tetra Tech in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. The mineral resource estimate has been prepared by Cameron Norton, PGeo, independent qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, and has an effective date of March 9, 2021. The mineral resource estimate technical report will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.

Mr. Norton has reviewed and approved the technical disclosure in this news release for Tetra Tech. Dr. Ebert is the qualified person for Surge and has reviewed and approved the contents of this release.

About Surge Copper Corp.

The company owns a 100 interest in the Ootsa property, an advanced-stage exploration project containing the East Seel, West Seel and Ox porphyry deposits located adjacent to the open-pit Huckleberry copper mine, owned by Imperial Metals. The Ootsa property contains pit-constrained National Instrument 43-101-compliant resources of copper, gold, molybdenum and silver in the measured and indicated categories. There are two drills working at the project with drilling focused on defining the extent of the large West Seel deposit and testing new targets along the Seel trend.

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